good, bad, ugly

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Sisters

B2 Belgrade Theatre, Coventry


On the evening that Coventry was declared the winner in the bid for City of Culture 2021, I’m sure you can imagine that the Belgrade, the hub of the action, was alight with excitement.

I was so happy I could have sat alone in an empty room and still smiled for hours! However, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Sisters, which incorporated a few references to the happy announcement, was just the place to be.

Set in the Wild West Midlands, the story, based on the Spaghetti Western genre, was probably a tad more complicated than it needed to be, but it gave the four actors plenty to do. It also, to misquote Ken Dodd who had a ‘titters per minute’ quotient, provided a pretty impressive ‘puns per hour’ ratio too. I loved the nod to Reservoir Dogs, Thelma and Louise, and other iconic films whether westerns or not.

Katy Stephens plays Doc, recently widowed snake-oil salesman who becomes embroiled in a bank robbery. The quest to find out what happened to the lost treasure provides the main action. Laura Tipper plays the bank clerk in a hostage situation and also Pelipa, Lover of Animals, with a gorgeous Black Country accent, Miriam Edwards the Sheriff and Cindy his sister, Aimee Powell plays Ugly (and other parts) the villain in hot pursuit. I loved the twist at the end, though, obviously I’m not a spoiler so I’m not telling.

This is the adult, alternative panto and there is enough of real panto to deserve the name though you have to stick with it to get there. In the meantime, there are some wonderful scenes. My favourite was the four of them as hobos on a train playing beautiful blues harmonica. It was glorious.

I liked in particular that the set was simple, the backdrop was a simple, warming sun in an unforgiving desert, it didn’t rely on fancy special effects; the skills of the writing and direction by Nick Walker and the acting is what made it. It was a really enjoyable evening. To 30-12-17

Jane Howard


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